Have you ever been out enjoying a sunny day in your backyard, only to find an unwelcome guest hitching a ride on your skin or your pet’s fur? Yes, we’re talking about the notorious American dog tick. These tiny critters are not just a nuisance; they can be a genuine health hazard. So, let’s arm ourselves with knowledge and tactics to keep these pesky invaders at bay!

Understanding the American Dog Tick

What is the American Dog Tick?

The American dog tick, known scientifically as Dermacentor Variabilis, is a common pest found across most of the Eastern United States. These ticks prefer grassy areas with little tree cover, making our backyards their ideal playground. Recognizing them is the first step – they’re typically reddish-brown and become significantly larger when engorged after feeding.

Risks Associated with American Dog Ticks

It’s not just the ‘ick’ factor; these ticks can be harmful. They’re known carriers of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a serious and potentially lethal illness if not treated promptly. These ticks can also cause Tick Paralysis in pets, a concerning condition that can lead to muscle weakness and respiratory failure. In humans, besides causing various diseases, tick bites can lead to allergic reactions, which in some cases may be severe. Additionally, the mere presence of these ticks in and around homes can cause significant stress and concern for families, particularly those with young children and pets. The risk of disease transmission makes understanding and controlling these ticks an essential task for any homeowner.

Prevention Strategies

Creating a Tick-Resistant Environment

Your first line of defense against the American dog tick is your yard. Keep your grass trimmed, remove excess leaf litter, and prune back bushes and trees to let in more sunlight, as ticks thrive in shady, moist environments. Consider landscaping with plants that are known to deter ticks, such as lavender, garlic, and rosemary, which can act as natural repellents. Creating a barrier with gravel or wood chips between your lawn and wooded areas can also help keep ticks from migrating into your recreational spaces. Additionally, installing fencing can discourage wildlife that often carry ticks, such as deer, from entering your yard. Regular inspections and maintenance of your outdoor spaces not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also play a crucial role in reducing tick populations and protecting your family and pets.

Personal Protection Measures

When venturing into areas where ticks might be present, dress smartly. Wear long sleeves and pants, and consider treating clothes with permethrin for extra protection. Tick repellents containing DEET are also effective. Remember, it’s easier to spot ticks on light-colored clothing. Additionally, when walking in wooded or grassy areas, try to stay in the center of trails to minimize contact with ticks. After outdoor activities, it’s also wise to take a shower within two hours, as this can help wash off unattached ticks and provide a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Tick Inspection and Removal

Regular Checks: The First Line of Defense

After spending time outdoors, especially in areas where ticks thrive, perform thorough tick checks on yourself, your family, and pets. Pay special attention to hidden areas like underarms, in and around ears, under the hair, and even between the toes. It’s crucial to conduct these checks promptly after coming indoors, as ticks can quickly start to feed, increasing the risk of disease transmission. Educating children about the importance of these checks and making them part of their routine after outdoor activities can significantly reduce the likelihood of tick bites.

Safe Tick Removal Techniques

If you find a tick, don’t panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure, ensuring not to twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause parts of the tick to break off and remain in the skin. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. It’s also a good idea to keep the removed tick in a small container in case you need to show it to a healthcare provider for identification. Dispose of the tick by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, or flushing it down the toilet. Keeping a record of the bite, including the date and location on your body, can be helpful for medical follow-up if symptoms occur.

Conclusion: Staying Vigilant and Tick-Free

While the American dog tick poses a threat, with the right knowledge and precautions, you can significantly reduce the risks. Incorporating regular yard maintenance, personal protection, and routine checks into your daily routine are key strategies in your fight against these pests. Stay vigilant, and ensure a safer outdoor environment for you and your family.

Need More Help with Tick Control? Contact Us Today!

Feeling overwhelmed by tick prevention or in need of professional assistance? Our team at Honor Guard Pest Management is ready to help. We provide expert advice and effective solutions to keep your home and yard tick-free. Contact us today for a consultation and enjoy a safer, more comfortable outdoor experience.

Pests in a commercial building can be more than just a nuisance; they can damage your property, disrupt operations, and tarnish your reputation. To maintain a clean and pest-free environment, it’s crucial to be proactive and take effective measures. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to prevent and handle pest infestations to ensure your commercial space stays “Pest Free.

1. Regular Inspection and Monitoring

The first step in pest control is vigilance. Implement a routine inspection and monitoring program to identify potential pest issues before they escalate. Inspect both interior and exterior areas of your commercial building, focusing on common entry points such as doors, windows, and vents.

2. Identify Common Pest Threats

Understanding the specific pests that pose a threat to your commercial building is essential. Common pests in commercial spaces include rodents, insects (such as ants, cockroaches, and flies), and even birds. Knowing your enemy allows you to tailor your pest control strategies accordingly.

3. Maintain a Clean Environment

Pests are attracted to food, water, and shelter. Keep your commercial space clean and well-maintained to eliminate these attractions. Implement a strict cleaning schedule, seal food containers, and fix any leaks or water sources that may draw pests in.

4. Pest-Proofing Your Building

Prevent pests from entering your building by sealing potential entry points. Use weatherstripping on doors, install screens on windows, and seal cracks or gaps in walls. Pay special attention to utility openings and vents.

5. Educate Employees

Your employees play a crucial role in pest prevention. Educate them about the importance of maintaining a clean workspace, proper food storage, and reporting any pest sightings promptly. Encourage a culture of vigilance.

6. Professional Pest Control Services

When faced with a pest infestation, don’t hesitate to call in professional pest control services. Pest control experts can identify the source of the infestation, employ safe and effective extermination methods, and provide ongoing monitoring and prevention plans.

7. Regular Inspections

Even after resolving a pest infestation, continue to schedule regular pest inspections. Prevention is key, and routine checks can catch potential issues early, minimizing the risk of future infestations.

8. Environmental Considerations

Opt for eco-friendly pest control solutions whenever possible. These options are safer for your employees and customers while still effectively managing pests. Many businesses today prefer sustainable and non-toxic approaches.

9. Pest-Free Maintenance Contract

Consider signing a pest-free maintenance contract with a professional pest control company. Such agreements typically include routine inspections, preventive measures, and swift response to any pest issues that arise.

10. Document and Learn

Maintain a detailed record of all pest control activities, including inspections, treatments, and any follow-up actions. Learning from past experiences will help you refine your pest control strategy and reduce the risk of future infestations.

In conclusion, keeping your commercial building “Pest Free” requires a proactive approach, regular maintenance, employee involvement, and professional pest control services when needed. By implementing these strategies, you can protect your property, maintain a healthy work environment, and ensure that pest infestations don’t disrupt your business operations.

Pest infestations are undoubtedly a headache, and when it comes to differentiating between look-alike insects like termites and ants, the task can become even more perplexing. Despite their initial similarities, these tiny creatures possess unique characteristics and behaviors that set them apart. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on an extensive exploration of the significant differences between termites and ants. By gaining an in-depth understanding of their biology, habits, and potential threats, you’ll be well-prepared to not only identify but also comprehend these pests effectively.

Body Structure & Segmentation

The journey to distinguishing termites from ants commences with a close examination of their body structures. Termites exhibit straight, bead-like antennae and boast a consistent body width from head to abdomen. On the contrary, ants are equipped with elbowed antennae and a conspicuous constriction between their thorax and abdomen, contributing to their distinctive segmented appearance.

Wing Shape & Length

Both termites and ants have reproductive individuals sporting wings, referred to as swarmers or alates. However, their wing attributes serve as a striking differentiation factor. Termite swarmers possess wings of equal length that exceed the span of their bodies. Interestingly, these wings are shed with ease once a suitable location is found for establishing a new colony. In contrast, ants exhibit wings of unequal length, where the front wings surpass the length of their rear wings.

Waist Size & Shape

A hallmark feature that sets termites apart from ants is the difference in their waist size and shape. Termites proudly display a broad waist, contributing to their overall streamlines appearance. Conversely, ants showcase a narrow, pinched waist that gives them their signature segmented body structure. This waist dissimilarity serves as a fundamental visual clue to swiftly differentiate the two insects.

Habitat Preferences

Termites and ants have distinct inclinations when it comes to their choice of habitat. Termites flourish in damp, moist conditions and often inhabit decaying wood or soil close to water sources. They ingeniously construct intricate tunnel systems, ensuring access to food sources while preserving the humidity they require. On the contrary, ants are remarkably adaptable in their habitats, making appearances in gardens, lawns, and even buildings. Some ant species are notorious for venturing indoors in their quest for sustenance, making them frequent household nuisances.

Diet & Feeding Habits

The diet and feeding behaviors of termites and ants are equally distinct. Termites are voracious cellulose eaters, consuming materials such as wood, paper, and plant matter. This diet choice, fueled by specialized gut bacteria, enables them to break down cellulose effectively. Unfortunately, this dietary preference also makes termites infamous for their potential to cause extensive structural damage to buildings. On the flip side, ants are omnivores. While they do indulge in scavenging for sweet or greasy foods, their feeding habits don’t pose the same threat to wooden structures as termites do.

Social Structure

The intricate social structures of termites and ants reveal profound differences. Termites dwell in colonies headed by a queen and king, characterized by a well-defined caste system encompassing workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals. Each caste is assigned specific roles, creating a harmonious division of labor. In contrast, ant colonies also exhibit hierarchical structures, but the roles within the colony can vary considerably. This diversity ranges from worked ants to specialized roles like soldiers, foragers, and the reigning queen.

Nesting Behavior

Nesting behaviors serve as another avenue of contrast between termites and ants. Termites are master builders of intricate tunnel systems that facilitate access to food sources while maintaining their favored humid environment. These tunnels can be situated both underground and above ground, offering protection from predators and desiccation. In contrast, ants showcase an array of nesting styles, varying from simple underground chambers to elaborate mounds constructed using soil and debris.

Damage Potential

Perhaps the most pressing concern for homeowners lies in the potential damage inflicted by termites versus ants. Termites have earned a notorious reputation for their capacity to silently consume wooden structures, posing a significant threat to the structural integrity of buildings. On the other hand, while ants may occasionally prove bothersome indoors, they don’t hold the same level of risk to structures as termites.

Calling in the Experts

The process of identifying and combatting pest infestations, particularly in the case of look-alike species like termites and ants, can be a daunting task. This is where HonorGuard Pest Control emerges as a valuable ally. As the distinguished pest control provider in Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta, we’ve honed our expertise in comprehending the unique characteristics and behaviors of these pests. Out team of experts is unwavering in their commitment to delivering unparalleled service, ensuring the eradication of pests while guaranteeing your utmost satisfaction.

Protection Against Tiny Invaders

In conclusion, while termites and ants may share surface-level resemblances, they diverge significantly in terms of body structure, habits, habitats, and potential for damage. Armed with this knowledge, homeowners can confidently undertake appropriate measures when faced with an infestation. When confronting pest-related challenges, remember that HonorGuard Pest Control stands ready to provide effective solutions that safeguard your home and well-being. Contact us today and entrust us to manage your pest concerns with professionalism and care.

Pests, whether they crawl, fly, or scurry, can quickly turn your home into an uncomfortable and unsanitary environment. Identifying these common pests and understanding how to effectively eliminate them is essential for maintaining a clean and pest-free living space. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of common pests that can infiltrate your Nashville, Knoxville, or Atlanta home, and we’ll equip you with practical strategies to identify, eliminate, and prevent their unwelcome presence.

The Power of Prevention

Preventing a pest infestation is your first line of defense against the invasion of unwelcome critters. By taking proactive measures to make your home less attractive to pests, you can significantly reduce the risk of an infestation.

  1. Seal Entry Points:
    • Pests are adapt at finding even the tiniest cracks and gaps to enter your home. Regularly inspect your home’s exterior for potential entry points and seal them using caulk, weather-stripping, or mesh screens. Common entry points include gaps around windows and doors, holes in walls, and openings where pipes enter your home.
  2. Maintain Cleanliness:
    • Pests are drawn to food sources, including crumbs, spills, and pet food left out overnight. To minimize their attraction you should clean regularly, store food properly, clean dishes, and dispose of trash property.
  3. Proper Storage & Landscaping Care:
    • Pests often find hiding spots in cluttered areas and overgrown vegetation. By addressing these issues, you can reduce the chances of pests finding a cozy spot in or around your home.

Common Pests & Effective Elimination Strategies

Each common pest comes with its unique challenges and effective elimination methods. Let’s explore some of these pests and the strategies you can implement to bid them farewell.

  1. Cockroaches: They are known for their resilience and adaptability, making them a formidable foe. To eliminate them from your home…
    • Sanitation- Regularly clean your home to eliminate food sources.
    • Reduce Moisture- Fix leaks and address humidity issues in damp areas.
    • Use Cockroach Baits- Place cockroach baits in key areas, such as under sinks and behind appliances.
  2. Spiders: They are generally not harmful, but their presence can be unsettling. To control their populations…
    • Regular Cleaning- Dust and vacuum regularly to eliminate webs and hiding spots.
    • Seal Entry Points- Repair cracks and gaps to prevent spiders from entering.
    • Reduce Prey- Control other insect populations to reduce the spiders’ food source.
  3. Termites: They can cause extensive structural damage, making prevention crucial..
    • Regular Inspections- Schedule professional termite inspections to catch infestations early.
    • Remove Wood-to-Soil Contact- Termites thrive where wood meets soil; ensure no wood is in direct contact with the ground.
    • Wood Maintenance- Repair and replace damaged wood promptly to minimize termite attraction.

Partnering with Professionals

While DIY methods are effective to a certain extent, some pest infestations may require professional expertise. Honor Guard Pest Control is your dependable partner in Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta, providing comprehensive pest management services tailored to your specific needs.

Our team of skilled technicians possesses in-depth knowledge of pest behavior and the latest pest control techniques. We approach each infestation with a customized plan to efficiently eliminate pests and prevent future occurences.

Your Home, Pest Free

Protecting your home from a common pest is an ongoing effort that involves a combination of preventive actions and targeted elimination strategies. By incorporating these practices and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can maintain a comfortable and pest-free living environment for you and your family in Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta.

Take control of your home’s pest situation today by partnering with Honor Guard Pest Control. Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring your satisfaction and providing you with a pest-free sanctuary. Contact us not to reclaim your space from common pests and enjoy a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

Winter Pest Control

Mice and rats remain active during winter, but as it is cold outdoors they move inside and build nests in walls and roof space where they can spend a few months, often breeding. In Tennessee, there are several commonly found spiders including Wolf Spider, Brown Recluse Spider, and Black Widow Spider. A bite from the last two can be fatal as they are extremely venomous. Sometimes spiders are found inside your home, and it is a good idea to get rid of them.

Rats and Mice will usually come inside the house before the first cold days of winter, and start building their nests in a cavity, mice only need a small space, and rats are more likely to climb to the roof space where they have more opportunity to nest. The first sign of rats and mice is often scrapping or scratching at night, as they come and go to feed, alternatively, there may be mouse droppings in the kitchen.

1. Rats and Mice Carry Disease

Both rats and mice carry infectious diseases including Salmonella and Tularemia. A bite from a rat can cause Rat Bite Fever, and in the past, they were responsible for causing Bubonic Plague.

2. Mice Can Cause Cancer in Humans

This is emerging research that can’t be ignored even though it is horrible. Some mice carry a virus that may cause breast cancer. Called the Mouse Mammary Tumour Virus, which is highly transmissible to humans.

3. Vermin Damage Your Home

Rats and mice are highly destructive and can even chew through electrical wiring, and if left unchecked can gradually destroy an unoccupied house.

4. Spiders and Ladybugs

Spiders will come indoors in cold wet weather, and you don’t want venomous spiders in your house. Usually, spiders don’t remain indoors as they like to be outside. However, spiders are more likely to stay indoors during the winter. Asian ladybugs were introduced to the USA for aphid control but turned out to be aggressive insects. They will invade your house in the cold weather and hide in fabrics and walls. They release a nasty-smelling liquid and bite as well.

5. Spiders are Attracted by Warmth and Light

Keep leaf litter and junk away from your house, and if you have a woodpile, the spiders will probably live in there.

This is hard to do, but try to seal off all entrances to your home, including mesh screens within your vents.

Regular Pest Inspections

Pests are active all the year, but it is only when they enter our home that we really notice them. It may be as simple as cockroaches in warmer climates, or scuttling rats and mice. Any of these creatures have to be eliminated. There are now many nontoxic pesticides to completely get rid of spiders. If you have small children the use of pesticides is a concern, and the type of spray used will be discussed with you first.

When you have your twice-yearly pest inspection, it enables our experts to eliminate opportunities for pests to enter your home, and after a while, you won’t see a pest in your house.

Conclusion

As we have seen, pests are active all year-round and not just in winter, pest control should prevail. Spiders and ladybugs become more active during Spring and Summer, and may even enter your house at any time given the opportunity. So it is best to always be vigilant, and don’t let them in. Contact Honor Guard Pest Control today to keep spiders, ladybugs, mice, and rats out of your home during winter!

What are bed bugs?

 Bed Bugs are tiny insects, much like mosquitos, that like to feed off of human blood. Unlike mosquitos they do not fly but latch on to clothes, backpacks and clothing and can go wherever they are taken. When bed bugs get in a house they are not usually discovered until they mass produce. One of the biggest signs of bed bugs is if a person breaks out in a red rash or blisters. Once bed bugs have invaded a house it’s difficult to get rid of them. Females can lay up to seven eggs at one time and a single infestation could be in the thousands. Having bed bugs can be frustrating but there are easy ways to prevent them from entering a home.    

Identify an Invasion 

The thought of a bug infestation can be overwhelming for some people but it is good to know the signs in case of an invasion. One of the main signs bed bugs are present are bug bites appear like a rash and may contain blisters. Doctors cannot identify a bug bite by itself. The University of Tennessee suggests trying to collect one or more of its shedded skins in a Ziploc bag to bring along to the appointment. The University of Tennessee also offers additional information about bed bugs on their website. Another sign that will show up in a bed bug infestation are freckle spots in wood furniture. If the household has travelled recently, or any new furniture has entered the house from a questionable place these could also cause an infestation.

Travel

Latching onto clothes, backpacks, and suitcases are the easiest ways bed bugs can invade a house. Storing your suitcases and backpacks in a hotel room can be tricky sometimes especially when travelling with a family. Make sure luggage is not placed under the bed, on the floor, or near the bed. For clothes it is a good idea to store dirty clothes in a plastic bag and wash them as soon as possible. Drying them on high heat is recommended because it is more effective at killing bed bugs than washing them. Make sure to inspect all clothes, backpacks, and suitcases after travelling. 

Furniture 

Bed bugs can enter a house through clothes, backpacks, and suitcases but they can also travel on furniture. It is very important when picking up furniture on the side of the road or in another not very sanitary place to look for signs of bed bugs. Make sure to inspect tiny corners or crevices for the tiny bugs. If you see freckle spots on the wood this could be the bugs’ fecal matter. When moistened with water the bed bugs’ fecal matter should turn red or a rust color. Other places bed bugs can hide are in the seams of couch cushions, behind wall hangings, and in heads of screws. The EPA has pictures of infected furniture with bed bugs. It’s crucial to check every little corner of furniture because bed bugs are so small and easy to miss. 

At HonorGuard Pest Control we care about keeping bed bugs out of your house. We primarily serve Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta as well as the surrounding areas – if you think your house could be infected don’t be afraid to contact us for information and schedule an evaluation. 

Autumn is the time when practically everything within the environment starts to change. The leaves begin to turn shades of yellow and orange, the wind cools, and certain critters prefer to be warm during this time. This really is the season which will get you ready for the next colder months. Despite the fact that the autumn brings along chilly wind, bugs seem unconcerned. Anyone will come across vermin throughout the fall, and you’ll need to know their tricks!

What You Are Up Against

There are a multitude of critters and pests you can encounter during the Fall season. These may vary depending on where you live but most common pests include cockroaches, mice, stink bugs, rats, and spiders. While the smaller insects like spiders and stink bugs aren’t the worst, they can quickly multiply and take over a certain area in your home without you being aware. Small rodents like mice and rats can carry diseases, ticks, and fleas, which you don’t want spreading to you or your pets. They will also find their way into your food, leaving it inedible and your pantry covered in droppings. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to get ahead of those little creatures before they even make it into your home.

Block Their Entry

Cold weather pests are notorious for finding even the tiniest of gaps to squeeze through. Be sure that all of your windows, doors, and sliding glass doors have a rubber weather tight seal around the borders. This will not only keep pests out, but will also keep your house warmer. Along with those preparations, a simple way to prevent unwanted guests is to close all of your windows and doors when they aren’t in use. The garage is always a common place to come across mice, and many insects. Ensure that all the cracks and spaces are filled in and blocked off as well. 

Properly Storing Food

Food being stored poorly is one of the main reasons homeowners experience infestations of unwanted critters. Make sure that all food is sealed tightly and put away in a cupboard or pantry. Leaving fruits and bread out on the counter or center island is just asking for a trail of ants or a few mice to invite themselves in for a quick bite. It is also a good practice to check under your furniture and behind major appliances for any food that may have slipped out of your hand and fallen behind or under something. While leaving food out in the open where pests can clearly be seen is bad, having them feasting out of your sight is even worse when and if you realize they are there. Lastly, ensure that all the food being thrown into the trash can has a closed-top. This way, the scent of food won’t linger around your home, drawing those pests inside to see what’s on the menu. 

Stop Those Leaks

Excess moisture in your house can also lead to a swarm of bugs and mice. It is always a good idea to make note of any leaks in your plumbing. This could mean your sinks, toilet, shower, refrigerator, and especially your wash and dryer. Most common dryers vent to the outside, and if you have leaks and moisture near them, it can draw in all those vermin you’re trying to prevent. Patch up those leaks and make sure all the fittings are tightened. 

Don’t Panic

It’s common to get frightened by this information, but don’t panic!. Now is the perfect time to begin making steps towards keeping your house rid of all those creatures during autumn. Make sure you keep on the lookout for circumstances that might invite them inside.